Beat the Winter Blues

It's that time of year and we are all feeling it - the winter blues. We are smack dab in the middle of winter and the combination of cold, snow, and being stuck inside all the time is starting to wear on everyone. Not to mention the sickness floating around - yuck! Is it spring yet?! It often seems like all anyone talks about is the weather or the latest cold/flu virus everyone is catching during this season. And it can get depressing!

Actually, seasonal depression is a real thing. It's called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Fitting name, right? Although we probably all feel the winter blues, some of us may actually feel more deeply and truly depressed. New moms may also experience postpartum depression, which can be worsened by the winter season. If this is you, I encourage you to talk with someone - either a health professional, or at least someone you can confide in.

While serious depression is something that needs to be professionally dealt with, there are some things we can do to fight the more general winter blues:

  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stimulate Dawn
  • Make your environment brighter with artificial light
  • Try to lower your stress levels
  • Get out and exercise regularly
  • Get together with friends and other moms who you can relate to
  • MUSIC!!! keep music (not TV) playing in your home as a habit, to keep your spirits up.
  • Help Others - Naturally it shifts our focus from the ego to the id. In otherwords, we stop focusing on our woes when we help others.

I think I know a program where you can do just that...Stroller Strides! Our FIT4MOM programs are so great because they provide the opportunity to get great workouts in as well as build community with other moms who can offer support and friendship. We will all survive the long winter TOGETHER!

If you think you know someone who may be experiencing more than the winter or baby blues, do what you can to help them out. Check out this great article from FIT4MOM about the topic:


Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that most often occurs during the shorter days of winter when our exposure to sunlight is reduced. Symptoms build up slowly and can include feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, weight gain, loss of energy, increased sleep and inability to concentrate.

Mental health expert Thomas Kuhn, M.D., from Holland Hospital Behavioral Health Services talks about how to recognize and manage Seasonal Affective Disorder in yourself or family members. Dr. Kuhn also discusses use of medications, diet, exercise, counseling and light therapy to treat SAD.

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